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Holmfirth Festival of Folk is very excited to welcome the following acts in 2017...

Keith Donnelly

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"Keith is a very [very!] funny, globe-trotting, Geordie tall-tale-telling-singer-songwriter-guitarist.
Keith could make sheep laugh!" Jasper Carrott

Stand-up comic, fall-down comedian, surreal snigger-songwriter, guitar-hero, performance-artist, [tall] story-teller, philosopher, scriptwriter, [none can] compere, man-of-mystery, inner-childminder, actor, stuntman, 

metaphysical-poet, human ping-pong ball, life and soul of the [kids] party, world-class athlete, leading socialite, raconteur, business tycoon, wit, author, half-wit, secret[sh!]-agent, [vauxhall] astral-traveller, shamen, 

geordie-cultural-attache, word-juggler, snake-charmer, underline-dancer,unexpected clairvoyant, dream-weaver, daydream believer, psycho-linguist, shark-wrangler, smile sculptor, [compulsive] lying-tamer, Great-British eccentric, [alleged] international-jewel-thief, hot-dog-skier, alien-abductee, zen grand-master, champion tiddly-winker, sandancer, friend to the pantomime horse, erstwhile slice of bacon, and all-round good egg...

Alabama 3

20 years and still standing, standing on the edge, on the point of no return. So where to next, when the end to everything is so inevitable? None of us are dead, which has surprised us more than it has you, especially at the end of 2016, a year that swallowed us musicians whole.

It’s been 20 years since we released our first baby – Exile On Coldharbour Lane and we’ve just delivered our 13th album – Blues.

See Alabama 3 at The Picturdrome on Friday 5th May.

King King

“Hot, Blue and Righteous” Classic Rock. 


See King King at The Picturedrome on Saturday 6th May.

Scott Doonican

The frontman of Barnsley's favourite comedy band presents your favourite Bar-Steward Sons' classics as just 'Me, a geetar, a uke and some daft songs'.

The Georgia Shackleton Trio


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"A hugely talented lass" Mike Harding

Formed in 2015, The Georgia Shackleton Trio are an exciting new act securing upcoming gigs in The UK and Europe, and in 2016 performed main stage slots at Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, Towersey Folk Festival, and Folk East, as well as performing throughout Broadstairs Folk Week amongst others.

Playing a blend of Americana, folk and self-penned material, Georgia Shackleton is an alumna of Newcastle University’s Folk Degree course. Accompanying herself on the fiddle, she writes and performs 'wordy songs about other people’, instrumentally influenced by British, American and Scandinavian folk traditions, with a regional twist from her native East Anglia.

Georgia’s skills as a singer and instrumentalist have been put to the test in numerous different contexts, but her own trio sees her teaming up with guitar powerhouse Aaren Bennett and mandolin ace Nic Zuppardi.


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"Jaywalkers effortlessly blend British and American folk traditions to create something arguably greater than either of these genres." Acoustic magazine

Since reaching the finals of the BBC Young Folk Awards in 2008, Jaywalkers have cemented their place as one of the most exciting, virtuoso and entertaining young bands working on the British Folk scene. Effortlessly creating a unique sound based on their collective and individual musical backgrounds, the band takes influence from Folk, Bluegrass, Country and Western Swing music in the form of virtuoso instrumentals, three part harmony and impressive slap bass. Add good humour, tasteful arrangements and exceptional musicianship to the mix and they are guaranteed to put a smile on your face...

The music Jaywalkers create is innovative, rooted deeply in tradition, and exhilarating.

Muston Bapchild and the Braxton Hicks

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A 4 piece Honky Tonk band, featuring fiddle, lap steel, double bass, guitar, vocals and harmony vocals.

Old time Country with sizzling fiddle, death defying dobro, devilish double bass and gorgeous guitar. Virtuoso vocals and harmonies. Have a yodelling good time at their remembrance of old time Country radio shows.

Ben Bateman

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25 year old singer/songwriter from the north east of England, Ben began playing guitar and writing songs in his early teens and now travels around the UK playing gigs and open mic nights.

"When I was very young I fell in love with melody through hearing classical music and it gave me the desire to produce melodies of my own. I am also influenced by great story tellers and lyricists such as Bob Dylan and Richard Thompson. The combined elements of good story telling and moving melodies seems most prominent in folk music and therefore it is folk music that has had the most influence on my own songwriting."


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A spellbinding journey through ethereal musical landscapes.

Captain of the lost waves

...a music box of tales, unsolved mysteries & hidden gems via the Captains journey through time...

‘I don't think I'm made of that stuff’, laments the singer-songwriter styled only as The Captain. The doubt's right there, in the lyrics of one of his beautifully heartfelt songs – yet if ‘that stuff’ is talent, then the man we see in front of us clearly exudes it from every pore. Let's be clear: The Captain really can sing. I don't just mean he can sing in Fringe terms – I mean he has a voice you might hear on a West End stage, or here in Edinburgh at a recital in the Usher Hall.**** RICHARD STAMP, FRINGE GURU (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) 

‘The Captain often appears in those rare live performances as a one man wonder, his own man, oddball perhaps, unique in the way that distinguishes original artists from the copyists’ *****  EDFRINGE.COM


‘Like imagining Charlie Chaplin with the voice of Freddie Mercury, completely unique and like nothing I have ever seen’
Glastonbury Arts Festival

Razorbach Acoustic

Played with the passion expected of people who love music, and have been playing together for the past 30 years. 5-people on Banjo, Mandolin, acoustic Guitars and a couple of drums intent on having fun. Come along and enjoy the show - you know it makes sense!!!!


Treebeard have been a popular attraction on the pub, festival & beer festival circuit for many years now, with regular appearances at Sheffield, Derby, Tamworth, Newark, Stockport, Lincoln, Stoke & Barnsley festivals, as well as performing at Earls Court for the Great British Beer Festival, and at the Cropredy fringe.

The band play lively Celtic folk-rock; traditional, original & contemporary songs & tunes on a variety of acoustic instruments, always guaranteed to get an audience up & dancing.

The band have been through a number of line-up changes over the years and are currently led by founder member Chris McMahon (of Haze, Strongheart, Silverwheel, Outlandish Knights, etc), with long time flautist/fiddler Ceri Ashton (Cadellin, Mother of Crows, Jabberwocky, Outlandish Knights), and new members; in demand
percussionist James Howe (Bellhagg Orkestar, Silver Darlings), talented singer/songwriter Rob Lowdon (Jabberwocky, Broadsword) and fabulous singer/guitarist Paul Pearson.

Robert Sharp


Yorkshire folk as you don't know it. Transcending genre, Roberts sound emulates folk music's edgy-younger cousin and simultaneously the enigmatic older sibling of indie-rock. With fiery Celtic influences and an undeniable honest charm, his music proves that sometimes; two lungs and six strings are all that's needed to achieve a moving musical impact.

Jake Milburn

Jake is a talented young musician from the Holme valley area. He plays guitar, drums, bass, and sings, with a mixture of covers and his own original material.

Georgina Hardcastle

It's a rare pleasure being able to immerse yourself in a performance with the level of conviction and flare that Georgina offers to her audiences. A deft lyrical fusion of folk and blues, her unique sound could be best described by imagining the music Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell's lovechild would make; having grown up in the Yorkshire dales with vocal chords made of golden honey.

Old Man Pie

Old Man Pie, a band that performs their interpretation of good ol' fashioned Americana Country-Rock music with a slice of pie. Believe it or not, they pull it off flawlessly.

Henry Parker
“Spoken about in the same breath as Page, Clapton and Dylan… we’d hate Henry Parker if he wasn’t so awesome. His sublime licks leave us in awe, and wondering which guitar legend he’ll be compared to next”. Total Guitar Magazine

Rooted in the sound of original 60's folk guitar, Henry Parker's music withholds and develops a style first spearheaded by players such as Bert Jansch, Davy Graham and John Renbourn. Performances draw on a repertoire that incorporates traditional material alongside original songs and instrumentals. All of which are bound together by a creative and distinctive finger-style approach. The inclusion of electric guitar allows a jazz influence, which pervades all of Henry’s work, to take to the fore and bring forth a completely different tonal range.  
Tom McKenzie

Tom McKenzie is a Singer-Songwriter from Bradford, West Yorkshire. He performs both original songs and covers around Yorkshire.

Tom records, mixes and masters all of his own music and has been doing so since the age of 15. His songs range from acoustic folk to indie. His newest album ‘Tom McKenzie’, released August 5th on CD and digital, is folkier than earlier material with a focus on acoustic instrumentation and live arrangements – the double bass, mandolin and fiddle taking larger roles.

Shaun Hutch

Shaun Hutch is a singer/songwriter/guitarist from Sheffield who plays a mix of traditional and contemporary folk songs as well as his own material. His love of mountains, moors, wildlife and all things in nature are often the subject matter of many of his songs.
A stalwart of the Yorkshire folk scene, Shaun runs a folk club, hosts sessions and plays concerts throughout the county and will be running the Friday night Folk Club at Holmfirth festival of Folk, with his guests;

Gina Le Faux - multi instrumentalist and singer who's played with Mike Harding, Dave Swarbrick and many others, and

Matt Quinn - currently with The Dovetail Trio and a member of the Quinn family, stalwarts of the folk scene around Sussex.

Ed Conway & the Unlawful Men

By Taking old folk songs and giving them a respectful kick up the backside, adding some well-crafted original songs, then intelligently re arranging the odd cover version;The Unlawful Men are Guaranteed to make you prick up your ears, raise an eyebrow, tap a foot, sing a chorus and send you on your way with a smile.

The Hayes Sisters

The Hayes Sisters are a sibling acoustic trio from Greater Manchester with three guitars, three voices, a banjo, and a focus on close familial harmonies!

"Songs borne from personal experiences and emotions; by history, politics, art, literature. ...influenced by the music we grew up listening to: the traditional music of England and Ireland; and always by groups or songs where vocals and harmonies dominate because when we were kids, singing in harmony was just what you did! It was natural.”

Chloe Jones

Chloe Jones is a singer-songwriter from Dukinfield in Cheshire - just 7 miles out of Manchester city centre.  With her rich tones and unique vocal quality, Chloe has a voice beyond her years and has been likened to artists such as Joan Baez, Tracy Chapman and Karen Carpenter. Chloe’s style falls into the genres of folk, country and americana with storytelling, love and life being at the heart of her music. Her debut EP ‘Meet You There’ is a collection of songs inspired by Chloe’s travels to and from the USA, featuring tales of romance, friendship and most of all, wanderlust.

Original Black Diamonds

The Original Black Diamonds, performing Rock 'n' Roll as well as contemporary songs with a skiffle twist. Guaranteed to get the festival moving and put a smile on everyone's face. Bring your smalls- he's got a washboard!!

Kitty Reid

A solo artist from Huddersfield, Kitty has been singing for 8 years now and is currently studying music at Huddersfield New College. "I love to perform, and write my own songs, I have a lot of fun singing as it is one of my favourite things to do." 

Hekety with John Brown
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"What a bloody fine bunch of tunes they are! ... played with skill, energy and a respect for the tradition of English Dance music. If you love English Dance Music you must hear this band play!" Green Man Review

Hekety formed in 1997, mainly because Richard & Jess decided they wanted to start a new band, having both been playing in other ceilidh bands for a number of years. The rest of the band met from playing music in and around Sheffield, in most cases through connections with the Sheffield University Ceilidh Society. The most important thing about the band is the dancing. We're a ceilidh band, so first and foremost we have to be good to dance to. That means watching the dancers while we play, and knowing enough about what is going on to be playing the right tune in the right way for a particular dance. Can't promise we always get it right but we do try! Secondly we want to be interesting to listen to, in terms of material and arrangements. That doesn't necessarily mean having smooth polished arrangements, but does mean getting the energy level right; having some b****cks, and keeping it fun and interesting to play. We do plan our arrangements out in advance, at least loosely – but there's always room for improvisation. Some of our best material is arrived at spontaneously on stage.

The music is a mixture of traditional English dance tunes, our own tunes and our arrangements of contemporary music by other people. The style and arrangements have a pretty diverse range of influences – from Morris and other folk traditions through to heavy metal, jazz, reggae, klezmer, …, you name it, … It all has a root in the English music though, because we are all English and because we're playing for English dancing.

Our favourite caller, John is an established ceilidh caller, working out of Sheffield. who got into calling through Sheffield Ceilidhsoc and has been calling for Ceilidhsoc and for others ever since. John calls at a variety of events, from small private functions, to regular ceilidh Series and folk festivals and has worked with a number of great bands over the last few years,Blackbeard's Tea Party, Hekety, Monster Ceilidh, Ceilidhography, Jabadaw, Gloworms, Trinculo, Derwenna, Pepper in the Brandy, This way up, Whapweasel, Random, Mawkin, Boldwood, Monsieur Pantin, The John Dipper Band and Holmfirth’s very own Rocks and Reels. 

The Ribble Beck Band


The Ribble Beck Band is named after the stream which runs behind The Nook, the pub in Holmfirth where the band formed some time in 2011. To say ‘formed’ is stretching it a bit though. It was more a case of ‘solidified’ from the remnants of the Sunday night session who didn’t have homes to go to and happened to be hanging around when Sheila asked for volunteers to play on St Patrick’s Day. Anyway, the formula seemed to work and people started asking them to play at ceilidhs, weddings, beer festivals and the like, culminating in an invitation to play for a gala dinner hosted by the mayor of Kirklees at The John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield. There are not many bands who can say they progressed from pub gigs to stadiums in less than three years! 

String Theory


Regulars at the festival for many years now, Dave Bottomley (guitar, vocals), John Platt (guitars, vocals), and Sarah Greenwood (fiddle) hail from Barnsley and will be entertaining you, with some of their friends, until they get tired, in the Cricket Club on Friday evening.

Boo Sutcliffe


Singer-songwriter Boo Sutcliffe is fast gaining a reputation for his finely crafted songs and passionate, charismatic delivery. With a nod to indie, folk, country and roots, he offers up keen melodies and razor-sharp hooks, underpinned by a strong lyrical sensibility. 


Boo will be joined at Gonzo by members of the Boo Sutcliffe Band, all accomplished performers in their own right: Paul Melleney (bass), Claire Helm (vocals) and “Gob Iron Guru” Jason Kerry (harmonica).  


“All those silly words, that vanished with the morning dew

What would you say, if they were true?”

Pop Pigs

The Pop Pigs are a Yorkshire based band, originating in Scarborough ( now the four members live in Saltaire, Holmfirth, York and Scarborough respectively) and play beat influenced hard garage Pop with Soul. Their first album, Rain on water, rain on stone released in 2015 received good reviews in press and fanzines. Both live and album tracks have received local and national radio plays over the past 12 months, including BBC Introducing West Yorkshire, Coast and County Radio, (N. Yorks) and Glory Boy Mod Radio station. Live the band have made recent appearances in Leeds and Huddersfield. The bands second album, as yet untitled, will be released this spring.


The Lujo Crows

We are based in manchester and have been together for nearly ten months.

Although originally a four piece band we are now performing as a trio. This has not altered our music or playing, in fact it has made us a tighter unit because the three remaining members of the band are the songwriters and musicians that create our sound.

As we are now all in our fifties we have a very eclectic mix of influences from folk, country, blues, jazz and a little soul.

Rehearsing twice a week and playing anywhere and as often as we can we feel there is an audience for our original songs , tapping into and drawing from life experience.

Hiding from Hazel

Hiding From Hazel are a local acoustic duo from Holmfirth. They cover all genres of music putting their own stamp on songs and even adding a little comedy. Taking you back to classics such as Dusty Springfield and Fleetwood mac and keeping it current with the likes of Sam Smith and Beyonce. They are sure to lift your mood with feel good songs that incorporate quirky twists and beautiful harmonies.

Holme and Dry

Named so because the members all live in and around the Holme Valley, and are therefore possibly the most landlocked group of sea shanty singers in the country! Formed in 2013, Holme & Dry consists of male and female singers who mainly perform a cappella, with occasional appearances of guitars, concertinas and whistle.  They have performed at various pubs, halls and festivals in the region, where they sing a rousing range of traditional and modern sea shanties and the odd song or two about drinking.

Fishing for compliments

Fishing for Compliments are a melodic original four piece band based in Huddersfield that have been creating and sculpting our music together for  close to seven years.  The band has a unique indie/folk/pop vibe with songs that come straight from the heart. Our performances are full of light and shade and our songs have been described by audience members as; 'enigmatic,' 'intriguing,' 'sunny' and 'making you feel like dancing in the moonlight.'  The band often appear in various  electro-acoustic and acoustic duo, trio and full band formations  to suit the event and venue and include; Eileen Wattam (Singer-Songwriter),  Ashley Wattam (Rhythm Guitar), James Alexander (Lead Guitar & Vocals) and Steve Dyson (Bass Guitar & Vocals).  You can also find out more about us and listen to our songs via Facebook, SoundCloud and Twitter.

Kristian Lee Stead

Kristian sheds light on the day to day triumphs, trials, and tribulations of life in the north of England for a young male.
Addressing the issues associated with years spent living a life of heavy substance misuse and binge drinking. To name a couple of examples, the drinking song - 'Let's Go Out', and more poignantly so with the first song I really wrote, recorded, and released as a download on the online music store known as 'Tunited', it's possibly my best known track and it's titled - 'Goodbye Stoney Hollow'. 
Kristian would like to point out the fact that Tunited no longer trades online or anywhere else, and he is yet to see a single penny of the 79p that his friend in Australia paid to download the track. It was the one and only sale that the song achieved. However, it did sell one copy abroad, so technically that makes him an internationally selling artist!  

Johny Gibson

Alt/Folk singer songwriter from Huddersfield, influenced by everything, Gibson plays his finely crafted songs of heartbreak, redemption and hope along with a mixture of some very noteworthy and timeless covers. Years, released in the Winter of 2016 through Shoveitupyourcult Records, is Gibson’s first release and includes a raw collection of folk songs that have been a staple in his live set over the last few years.

Rusty Peg

‘The Rusty Pegs sing original country songs about Yorkshire, pirates and doin' right by mama, with some sweet          

harmonies and singalong choruses thrown in (and the odd classic cover, too). They're based in York, but                                    

only because the commute from Nashville would suck. ‘


The Banjoladies

Playing a mix of country, soft rock and pop music alongside their quest to deliver fine tuned vocal harmony and melody - The Banjoladies experience will be nothing if not entertaining            



The ever evolving Old School good-time blues, jazz and skiffle band from Huddersfield.



Satteli are a Swiss folk duo; sisters Louise & Helen Curtis-Streich. They perform beautifully, haunting & lyrical Swiss alpine songs.


12 Dead In Everett

Three low-down, seditious suspected IWWs playing rebel music for the working class


Trouble at t’Mill

Huddersfield based 4-piece folk band specialising in a combination of traditional and contemporary folk songs and tunes.



The Ticket Collectors

The Ticket Collectors formed in 2015 out of a mutual love of powerful song writing and a desire to experiment with mixed instrumentation ranging from banjoleles, guitars, accordions through to pocket synths and kaossilators.

Rocks and Reels

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